Red Wine Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte Le Petit Haut Lafitte 2019. Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte had a reputation as a bit of an underachiever until it was purchased by the former Olympic ski champion Daniel Cathiard in 1990. Cathiard quickly made significant changes including dramatically reducing the usage of chemicals and herbicides in the vineyards and fully renovated the winery. He also brought on board Michel Rolland as winemaking consultant and increased the amount of new oak barrels used to age the estate’s wines. Thanks to this new direction, the chateau is now considered one of Graves’ finest. In total they have 55 hectares of vineyards planted on the well-draining gravel soils which are so typical of the region. Le Petit Haut Lafitte is their second wine which is made from the estate’s younger Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot vines. Following vinification the wine is aged in French oak barrels, 50% of which are new, for 10-12 months before bottling. The nose is dark and brooding with plenty of dark plums, cassis and blackberry and deeper undertones of spice, tobacco leaf, herbs, and woodsmoke from the oak ageing. On the palate there’s a robust full body, grippy tannins and a well-built structure which will help this wine age beautifully in the cellar over the next decade or so. If you don’t have the patience to wait that long, it can also be enjoyed now with roast beef, barbecued ribs, or hearty game stews.
Red Wine Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte Le Petit Haut Lafitte 2019
Red Wine Cherry Pie Tri County Pinot Noir 2019. This Tri County Pinot is crafted from fruit sourced from three different counties in California which each have their own AVA designation. The majority of the fruit comes from Stanly Ranch vineyard in Carneros, the coolest of the three areas which produces grapes with great freshness and elegance. There are also grapes from Alta Loma and Arroyo Loma vineyards in Monterey County which are planted on gravelly loam soils, helping to lock in rich earthy and ripe fruit flavours. The remainder of the fruit comes from Los Alamos vineyard in Santa Barbara which is cooled by the nearby Pacific Ocean and grown on sandy soils. These conditions guarantee an extended ripening period which creates grapes with plenty of acidity and intense flavours and aromas. In the winery these three components are skillfully combined to give an authentic expression of Californian Pinot Noir. Before release the wine is aged in French oak with a ratio of 30% new barrels used. On the nose there are intense aromas of brandy-soaked cherries, cranberries and strawberries while the first sip reveals a light and elegant body, distinctive freshness and bright red fruit flavours which linger on the palate. A great wine to serve with duck dishes, tomato-based pastas or a generous platter of charcuterie.
Red Wine Chronic Cellars Sir Real Cabernet Sauvignon 2019. The quirky Chronic Cellars brand was founded by brothers Josh and Jake Beckett in 2004. The duo decided it was about time to put their love of winemaking to good use converting chronic’ or top quality grapes into exceptional wines. The brothers were born into a winemaking family in Paso Robles, so they spent their early years helping out washing barrels down and working on the bottling line. This early training prepared them well for this ambitious young project which focuses on using the best of everything wherever possible. The brothers’ long-standing local connections gives them access to the best Paso Robles fruit which is carefully selected by Josh for his delicious blends. The finishing touch is their characterful labels which were designed by a childhood friend and talented artist. The brothers’ Sir Real Cabernet is sure to please lovers of big reds with a generous full body, smooth tannins and a well-built structure. Luscious cassis, blackberry and dark cherry notes define the nose while the palate has lots of bramble, plum and winter spice. The hearty flavour profile makes this a great partner for rib eye steak, beef stews or rich vegetarian dishes like aubergine parmigiana.